A travel and style blog

The Bloggers Hangout London Fashion Week Event

There was no 'Monday Motivation' struggle for me this week as it kick started with my first bloggers event. My alarm went off and I hot footed it to foggy London town to The Bloggers Hangout London Fashion Week Event.
I would love to say I headed there in between shows but alas no. Lack of front row (or any other row, or standing up at the back) tickets aside, I was keen to soak up the buzz in the city and was excited to be on the list for a bloggers event.
By the time I rolled up at the event I was feeling pretty daunted at walking into a room of bloggers and brands alone. What if someone asked me a tech type question that I didn't know the answer to? What if nobody speaks to me so I have to resort to sending a string of 'highly important' texts, as you do when you're on your own and uncomfortable.
I thought my fears were about to become reality when I saw a group of four bloggers outside the entrance, chatting to each other and laughing. Shit, they're obviously best friends, brilliant bloggers and will, by some sort of psychic ability decide my blog is awful and laugh in my face. To make things worse, one of the girls was wearing a fedora. 
I've never been able to pull off a fedora, my head's too small!
I couldn't bring myself to go in and took my small sized head for an extra lap round the block. Casually like. I did what all Brits do at times like these. I popped into a shop for an Earl Grey tea, decided to stop being a tit and... I went into the event.
Allow me to skip ahead to the morale of this post... Never Be Nervous About An Event That Has Complimentary Rum Punch.
Cocktails available to try from Cocktail Mania
It was a great opportunity to network with fellow bloggers, who fyi, were genuinely lovely. I wasn't subjected to any interview type questions about my blog traffic. Nobody asked me why I wasn't wearing a Fedora.
If you were looking for beauty or food and drink brand collaborations...Bingo! There were a good selection of brands to work your way around and chat to. Ark Age Aware Skincare had a queue of bloggers eager to get their mitts on products for review. I have to admit they did sound heavenly products. I got caught up in the excitement and joined the queue for a little while before facing facts... I am age aware, but I'm not a beauty blogger. I left the little queue and had a rum punch. Which incidentally was delightful.
I did pick up some Pura Vida Living Raw Chia Bread. 'Vegan, vegetarian and raw, made with love and organic buckwheat,' which I'm looking forward to sampling. I'll probably snaffle it off to work as a handy and healthy snack when I'm in a 'sat at my desk all day situation.'
I didn't come away with any collaborations lined up but as this little puppy isn't really a product based blog I didn't want to take anything just for the sake of it.
I really enjoyed the event and I'm so glad I attended. There was nothing to worry about at all. Thanks to The Bloggers Hangout for having me!...and for the goodie bag!
Before heading home, I stopped off at Brewer Street to have a quick gawp at all the lucky London Fashion Week show goers!! It might sound a bit lame but I had loads of fun standing amongst the buzz, checking out people's outlandish outfit choices. Hive five to any girl who is brave enough to wear a mini skirt and a red pom pom on her hat!
That girl wasn't me by the way. I think a pom pom might accentuate my small head. 

As always, thanks so much for reading. Have you been to any bloggers events? Did you need a confidence boosting Earl Grey before you went in?
Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here! x x  

Why Everyone Should Worry Less

Annemaire Postma's book The Secret Within on Wellness and Relaxation
Relaxation and Wellness Book The Secret Within

Some people worry more than others and sometimes with good reason. There are those times though when you worry because you're absolutely certain that there is something you should be worrying about but you can't for the life of you think what it is. It's just a nagging feeling that lurks underneath.
Other times you know full well what's troubling you. Personally, at (almost) 32 and unwed, I worry that I'm fast approaching an age were the option of getting married in a dress no longer exists. I don't want to walk down the aisle in an age appropriate cream trouser suit.
In a similar vein, I worry that if I leave it too much longer to have babies, I run the risk of being known as the neighbourhood's answer to Rod Stewart. Minus the mullet.
I worry when I leave the house in a morning that I've left my hair straighteners on, stopping in my tracks and trying to remember. (I always check and always have. The time I don't will be the time that I haven't. I bloody knew it, I'll think as I get the phone call explaining that the fire they ignited has ripped through our house, spread to next door and engulfed the whole street in flames).
At other times, I'll think back over conversations I've had and worry that I might have said something offensive or been taken the wrong way. When it comes to work, I worry if there's something I've forgotten to do. What if a royal roasting lies ahead? 
You get the picture. There's a million thoughts milling about my head throughout the day, like most other people. 
Why Do We Worry So Much?
It's natural to fear the unknown. We have no way of knowing what the future brings and so much in our lives that we're afraid of loosing.
"So much of what we worry about has to do with losing what we have: health, happiness, love, wealth, power, status, wisdom, freedom...Either through making some mistaken choice or via the vagaries of fate." Source  

If I spend my time worrying about all possible eventualities surely I'm better prepared in some way.

The older we get the more life experiences and responsibilities we have. It's no surprise then that the amount of worrying we do increases also. Apparently people tend to worry the most during their mid-life.
Now if you're anything like me you'll be reading this fact, suddenly thinking, grrrrreat, things are about to get a whole lot worse! Well, there can be a happy ending. I promise!
The Good News ... and you can thank me later
"When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened," Winston Churchill Source 
Most of the worries that take up so much of your daily thoughts will never happen! How many people do you know who have accidentally burnt down their street or worse...got married in a trouser suit?

Our heads are cluttered with unnecessary and draining worry.

In a 2013 study, hundreds of elderly people were asked what their biggest regret was if they looked back over their lives. The most common answer ...

"I wish I hadn't spent so much of my life worrying." Source

From Now On

The one thing that will definitely slip away from us is time. Do you really want to waste most of yours worrying about things that will probably never happen?

It's not easy to just switch your mind off. You can't just wake up one morning and be free of all anxieties. You can wake up though and decide that you are going to start a change in the way you think. Plan for the future but don't waste time worrying about it.

Notice when your thoughts are spiralling out of control and have a quiet word with yourself when you are mid way through an imaginary disaster zone... That is never going to happen stop wasting time thinking about it!

Disclaimer: I hold no responsibility for any disasters that may occur for any readers of this post, who have as a consequence failed to worry in advance over every minute detail.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Was it a bit deep for a Monday? Oops, there I go again! Sod it, this is your post crack on with it!

Don't forget you can say hi over at Twitter here and Instagram here. Now, did you switch your straighteners off this morning? What about the front door, did you lock it? x x 

Facing Fears and Learning To Ski

I would love to go on a skiing holiday. I see myself in Austria, getting dressed in an exclusive Alpine ski chalet for a day on the slopes. I put on a stylish ski suit, faux fur headband and red lipstick. I'm skiing from village to village breathing in the crisp fresh air with the sun on my face. I smile as I swoosh into a little bar and say hello to Franz (in my head I've been coming hear for years).
"What'll it be today, your usual mulled wine or perhaps a Schnapps?" Franz speaks English. Handy.
There is only problem. I can't ski. *snaps back to reality, in the reception area of the Chill Factore, Manchester. It's Friday morning and I'm crying.*

Ladies ski jacket from Surf Dome

My boyfriend learnt how to ski as a child. He skies how I imagine I can.
He fully supports me learning to ski. Having not been on a skiing holiday since we met, he has unfulfilled skiing needs. I told him if he wanted me to learn I'd need lessons AND a ski coat. I'd feel more confident to face my fears if I looked snazzy at the time. On a subconscious note, hello to two reasonably sized obstacles in-between me and the slopes. 
Procrastination can work wonders for your anxiety levels ... initially.
My boyfriend is a very can do sort of person. He's definitely a glass half full sort of person, whereas I'm naturally more of a I don't even have a glass sort of person. I'm lucky to have someone who pushes me out of my comfort zone and helps me achieve more than I'd ever do if left to my own devices.
I feel lucky for most of the time... Last Friday I hated him a tiny bit.
At half eight in the morning, sat in my new ski jacket waiting to start my 6 hour Beginners Ski Lesson, having already made two nervous trips to the ladies that day, I felt sick with worry and out of my depth. I should have put bigger obstacles in the way.
An outdoorsy type of girl strode by confidently with her snow board under her arm. You know the type don't you. The sort of girl that would look good striding out of the sea with tousled hair, while you look like a ship wrecked waif, usually with yesterdays swimming costume sunburnt on. On top of my nerves this girl was the final straw and I cried.
I was so nervous that my boyfriend said, and I quote, dropping me at the Chill Factore, "was like dropping your pet off at the vets." Boys, when your gal is already feeling self conscious wearing a faux fur headband for the first time, the last thing she wants to be compared to is a pet.
Sometimes you don't realise how afraid of something you are until you're face to face with it.

I was afraid of:
*Not knowing how to get my boots and skis on properly and ultimately plummeting to my death
*Being on my own in the class and with nobody to help me as I ultimately plummet to my death
*Getting tangled in the ski lift and being dragged up the slopes before I fall off and ultimately plummet to my death
*Not knowing how to stop and...you guessed it... plummeting to my death
*And finally looking like a right tit
The pre-class cry helped to release my nervous energy though it did nothing for my dignity.
I double dropped some Bach's Rescue Remedy, clung onto my holiday dream, and like a big girl, got ready to meet my ski instructor, all the while knowing that the end good very well be nigh. 

Sign at the Chill Factore Manchester

PLOT SPOILER: I did not die.
The more wily and alert among you may have figured this one out already.

By the end of the day, I had fallen only once (it's hard to fall when you're moving at a snails pace), learnt how to stop, how to turn, how to follow someone down the slope and use the ski lift.
Our instructor for the day, Billy, really took the time to help us as a group and individually. He had plenty of different learning methods to try as certain tasks clicked with the group at different times.
If you fell he would help you up. If you needed it he would ski down the slope right with you. Be warned though, at the times when you come over all Gemma Collins and say you couldn't do it, he made you do it anyway.
View of the main indoor ski slope Chill Factore Manchester

The Beginners Ski Day Lesson was £165.00 and had around 8 people in the class. You can pay a little extra and have fewer people in the class but I personally thought it was more fun learning with a group.  Plus it allowed a little breathing time in-between goes which I definitely needed.
Being terrified for most of the day is exhausting.
Six hours was quite intense but also rewarding. If I'd have split that session up over a period of weeks the nerves in-between each session would have been ridiculous. It's a good idea to have a taster lesson before the beginners day class. Those that had done this got more out of the day as they were a little step ahead.
Now that the 'snow' has settled after my beginners lesson, I regret my early morning meltdown and really didn't need to be so afraid. That's often the way isn't it. You look back and think what the hell was going on there?

So I'm one step closer to fulfilling my Austrian dream. Who fancies footing the bill for a luxury Alpine Chalet? Any takers? Just give me a shout, I'll be the one wearing an 'Adrenalin Junkie' slogan tee!
Can you remember learning something for the first time and being terrified? Do you know an Austrian man called Franz? 
Thanks so much for reading. Not Your Nine To Five is on Twitter here and Instagram here. Don't forget to pop over and say hi or at least call me a wuss x x  
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